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Nonprofits Ask Treasury to Withdraw Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines


On December 18, 2006, acting on behalf of the Treasury Guidelines Working Group, the Council of Foundations (COF) asked the Department of the Treasury to withdraw its Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines in favor of the working group's Principles of International Charity.

Led by the COF, the Treasury Guidelines Working Group comprises more than 40 U.S. charitable sector organizations, advocacy groups, and advisors. COF president and CEO Steve Gunderson sent Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. the group's comments on the updated Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines, which were released September 29, 2006.

Gunderson wrote Paulson that, although the working group appreciates several changes Treasury has made to the guidelines, its members "continue to have serious concerns with" the guidelines. Specifically:

  • "The Guidelines significantly exaggerate the extent to which U.S. charities have served as a source of terrorist funding."
  • "The Guidelines continue to impose onerous information collection and reporting requirements that do little to protect charities from terrorist abuse. In addition, the latest version of the Guidelines includes troubling new provisions."
  • "Treasury has not gone far enough to ensure that the Guidelines remain voluntary."
Gunderson added that complying with the guidelines could divert resources from charitable programs that address the conditions that help create terrorism. Donors may also hesitate to give to charities engaged in this work.

More Information

Suzanne E. Coffman, February 2007
© 2007, Philanthropic Research, Inc. (GuideStar)

Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's director of communications and editor of the Newsletter.
Topics: Law and Regulations